At last, a battle in order to determine the best junior hockey players in North American has been established. Frozen Futures has received an unconfirmed report that the CHL has reached out to the NCAA in hopes of having the Frozen Four champion square-off against the Memorial Cup champions before the NHL draft takes place.
Talk of a match between the NCAA National champions and the Memorial Cup champions has been in talks for the last few years and was ramped up when outspoken CBC broadcaster Don Cherry voiced his displeasure of college players taking away spots from hard-working CHL players. Once and for all the heated rivalry between the two teams will be
Photo Courtesy of Getty Images. Credit David E. Klutho
settled this June.
For players looking to pursue their hockey career’s, choosing between the NCAA and CHL is one of their toughest decisions. The choice not only effects their hockey career’s, it is also a decision that can impact their entire life past hockey. Get an education while trying to make the NHL or ride the busses and endure a gruelling season in hopes of being drafted?
Players from both hockey leagues believe they are the best junior hockey players and worthy of attention from NHL hockey clubs. NCAA players have chosen to take their talents south of the boarder in hopes of getting an education with their hockey career, while CHL and OHL players have chosen to stay in Canada and battle it out for the NHL draft.
While the NCAA Frozen Four tournament often gets overlooked due to the NCAA march madness basketball tournament, teams will have more than just a national championship on the line this year. Michigan, Boston, Union and North Dakota are the four teams through to the final four and now each one will have added incentive to bring home the NCAA title. With that title comes a playoff, do or die series against the CHL and massive bragging rights around school.
The debate will finally be settled this year when NCAA meets CHL in a seven game playoff series. It will be a new experience for the NCAA competitor who is used to a single game elimination and will require them to dig down deep and beat another team in a best of seven series. For the CHL team, it will also be a tough battle after battling all season long and throughout the Memorial Cup Championship. Can college players keep up to the CHL guys for a full 7 game series?
The series will have two games played at the home arena of the CHL team competing and two games at the competing NCAA schools rink. The remaining games will played out at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada. The winner of the series will be given the title of best North American junior hockey team and take home the Cherry Cup, in honour of Don Cherry’s love for junior hockey.
For the sake of seeing more elite junior action there is some talk that the CHL will have the NCAA Frozen Four Champions play against each team in the Memorial Cup. Therefore, much like the Russia Super Series they would face a, QMJHL, WHL and OHL team in addition to their series against the Memorial Cup Champions. There is something special about competition which makes hockey fans look to pit the best of the best to figure out who is the true champion. You could even expand the tournament to include last years champion (obviously in years 2 and beyond of the tournament) to make the tournament even larger.
Both sides are hoping the series will open young players eyes on their option for junior hockey should they wish to continue their semi-professional careers. Proceeds from the tournament will be going towards helping young hockey players in their junior careers, rather it be CHL or NCAA. Forget March Madness and forget the Stanley Cup Playoffs, it’s time to settle the long-time debate between NCAA and CHL hockey. Which league is better? It’s all on the line; bragging rights, a North American Title and your NHL future, game on!
We here at Frozen Futures, as well as many other hockey fans are extremely looking forward to NCAA vs CHL battle. We truly hope that one day it will become a reality where the two can compete for junior hockey supremacy in North America. However, at this point in time nothing is set in stones and everyone here would like to wish you a Happy April Fools.